It's time to pay tribute where it's well deserved. I dropped, a bit like a cuckoo chick, into somebody else's choir this morning. A dangerous thing to do especially when you are dealing with the foibles of interpreting Gregorian Chant. Now I'm not the greatest fan of sung Masses, at the best of times, but this was a real treat for the First Sunday in Lent and almost (I repeat almost) convinced me to revise my intention to concentrate on the 'low' form of the rite and leave the more complex (and lengthier forms) to those who actually know what they are doing. What I found this morning was a very well prepared core group of singers, and an appropriate use of the chants of the Graduale, crafted to the needs of the local situation. This was no archaic rendition of ancient codices but rather a truly prayed interpretation of those traditional Christian songs which, like pebbles in a river, have been refined over the centuries. The choirmaster knew his job and had applied what was required to the abilities of the schola. I couldn't quibble. It was the faith in action rather than just on display.
What was even more remarkable was the feeling of being 'at home' and this continued in the conversation and banter outside the chapel after Mass; meeting with the long suffering congregation and their pastor and some real solid sharing of the Catholic faith and the problems they faced in being traditional catholics in an unwelcoming environment. So in the liturgical desert there is an oasis. Prayers are assured.